A Travellerspoint blog

Day One - And they’re off...

all seasons in one day 22 °C

We awoke in all too familiar surroundings. In our bed. In our bedroom at the McVeighs.

But today was the day. We had a date booked with Trevor and Norman at Allied Auto Electric at 660 something Old North Road but more about them shortly.

Firstly we had to depart. Now, with Amanda McVeigh involved, this was never going to be a ‘through the back door in the dead of night’ kind of an affair. If the car started it would be an improvement. And Redvers didn’t let us down, turn key/familiar chu-chu-clink-clink/jump start again (with new method involving bridging the terminals with a spanner)/ and back in the game. Unorthodox start aside, we were mobile again.

As we crept forward, up the tree lined driveway, the electric gate slid aside. Our South Africa flag billowed from the passenger door. Our British Union ‘Will and Kate’ commemorative Flag billowed proudly from the drivers’ window. As we breached the gate, the children McVeigh (James, Toosh and Ruari) emerged toting streamers which exploded from either side of us. As Titi (the eldest of the kids,) ever centre stage, proudly exclaimed “Goodbye!”

An hour later we were with Trevor. First of all let me tell you. If you ever have a problem with your cars’ electrics and you happen to be in Durban, go to this man. Over the next two hours about 16 years worth, and seventeen kilometres, of DIY Landrover electrics were stripped from old Redvers and his brain was rewired with a few gizmos to make him think straight when we wake him up on those cold dark mornings. He can now run the fridge, charge the laptop (I’m writing while we drive across the Transkei) and, most importantly, when we turn that key, he roars to life with a guttural verve that only a two and a half litre injected turbo diesel engine can. On starting he still manages to kick out his standard plume. (The kind of stuff you’d expect to appear from the fireplace as Dick Van Dyke falls out of the chimney and says ”’Ello Mary Poppins!” )

With the brain functioning, Redvers was a new man. We parted company with Trevor and Norman, armed with a few electrics related tips should we come unstuck over the coming months.

We were off! And what a start, we broke from the gates like a champion unleashed on his maiden run. So quickly, in fact, that Somers ignored the traffic officer marshalling his subjects at the Umgeni Road/N2 junction. At this point in time, somewhat fortunately I had jumped into the back to sort our stuff out and make sense of Redvers’ inner belly.

As Somers drove past the floundering officer she had to stop for the oncoming traffic. This pause was time enough for (Traffic) Officer Johnny ‘I love the black man’ Durban to catch up to us. His arrival began with him angrily announcing that he had been ignored and would be charging the small lady sat in the drivers’ seat of our not inconspicuous, jerry can and spare wheel crowned, behemoth that screamed ‘tourists in Africa.’ The lady protested, politely explaining that she hadn’t seen him. “I’M TOO BLACK FOR YOU AREN’T I! THAT’S WHAT IT IS, I’M TOO BLACK, I’M GOING TO CHARGE YOU. IT’S BEACUASE I’M TOO BLACK!” he screamed inches from Somers’ face whilst flapping his police book like a granny with a winning lotto ticket. A pause. “Don’t talk rubbish,” came Somers’ perfect retort. This was enough to confuse Officer Johnny and with close to perfect timing I entered the stage from the back. (The beauty of window tints is that no one can see you lurking.) I jumped into the passenger seat and joined the argument. “What’s going on?” He started on again about being black, which to be fair, he was, but up against two poms his will broke, “Oh, just go,” he announced waving vaguely in our intended direction of travel. We pulled off and left him playing with his fake aviators and whatever else he needed to scratch. And so Police Engagement #1 came to a satisfactory end. (I think we were too white for him...)

A good days' traveling through the Transkei with excitement added by a few near misses with the local wildlife as we arrived at Coffee Bay just after dark. Of these, the cow was not technically a miss. She trundled across the road on a blind corner and seeing our lights, carried on as normal. Thinking I’d stopped, (I hadn’t quite,) I may have gently tenderised the rump steak region on that one and she deffo went to ground. Redvers survived and so will the cow.

We stayed at the Coffee Shack had a few beers and world class pizza then hit the hay in a rain storm.

Posted by ibeamish 11:03 Archived in South Africa

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you go pommy girl, hee hee!!!!

by Karen

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